Graduate History and Style I

This is an outline of the topics discussed in the Graduate History and Style I course, 16-HILT-801:

The Roman Mass and Office and their chants:

  1. The function, form, and stylization of the proper chants.
  2. Theories of oral tradition and the Frankish invention of “Gregorian chant.”
  3. Tropes, sequences, liturgical drama, and historical theories of their origins.

Medieval music theory:

  1. The practical origins of modal theory with help from the Byzantine Church.
  2. Guido’s and Hermann’s digest of the eight ecclesiastical modes.
  3. Hexachords and solmization; the monochord and the “Guidonian” hand.

Early organum and the rise of the motet:

  1. Predecessors of Notre Dame organum.
  2. The organum and discant of Leonin and Perotin.
  3. The 13th-century motet and the conductus.

Notation and performance practice:

  1. The rise of neumes and the “central problem” of Gregorian chant.
  2. Rhythmic controversies in plainchant, troubadour lyric, and conductus.
  3. The rhythmic modes, their limitations, and Franco of Cologne’s improvements upon them.

The Ars Nova: The “isorhythmic” motet and the notation that supported it.

Cross-channel influences and the new euphony of the 15th century: John Dunstable and the contenance angloise.

The cyclic Mass: The Renaissance equivalent of the modern symphony?:

  1. From the earliest settings of the Ordinary to the cyclic Masses of Dufay and Ockeghem.
  2. The variety of cyclic procedures in the Masses of Josquin des Prez.
  3. The polyphonic Mass in the eras of Gombert, Taverner, and Palestrina.

The French chanson: From courtly miniature to popular part-song:

  1. The chanson from Machaut to Dufay.
  2. Popular and constructivist aspects of the chansons of Josquin des Prez; the chanson nouvelle in the era of burgeoning print culture.

Manifestations of humanism in the Latin motet and Italian madrigal:

  1. Humanism and its reverberations in the motets of Josquin des Prez.
  2. Humanist readings of the Italian madrigal in the era of Arcadelt, Willaert, and Rore.
  3. The madrigal in the era of the Concerto delle donne and the Musica Transalpina.

The Reformation and Counter-Reformation in music:

  1. What Luther hath wrought.
  2. The Catholic Counter-Reformation, the Council of Trent, and the Palestrina style.